Report: Number of hungry Missouri children drops from last year

1 year 1 week 5 days ago Thursday, September 08 2016 Sep 8, 2016 Thursday, September 08, 2016 6:53:00 PM CDT September 08, 2016 in News
By: Hli Yang, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The annual United States Department of Agriculture report on household food security revealed an improvement in the number of Missourians struggling to get enough to eat, especially children.

The report found 15 percent of Missouri households experienced food insecurity at some point during 2015. That’s compared to 17 percent in 2014.

Communications manager for Feeding Missouri, Monica Palmer, said she’s excited to see a little bit of good news about hunger in Missouri.

“We still have a lot of hungry people, almost 400,000 households in Missouri are still food insecure, so we have more work to do, but we are very excited to see the positive trend,” Palmer said.

According to the USDA report, when a family is “food insecure", that means they have a difficult time getting enough to eat, or the right kinds of food to eat because they lack money or other resources.

The percentage of families that faced actual hunger, or “very low food security” also declined. In 2015, nearly 7 percent of Missourians missed meals or experienced hunger. In 2014, nearly 8 percent had very low food security. However, Missouri is still worse than the national average for “very low security”, which is 5.4 percent.

Palmer said this category is actually the worst category in the report because it means people are going without meals.

“Last year, we were number two in the nation for very low security in the nation. And this year, we’re number seven, so that’s a huge jump in the very low food security category,” Palmer said. “We’re improving, but we’re still not the best.”

Palmer said most of the time, families facing “very low food security” shield children from hunger. The adults will go without meals so the kids can eat. Still, the USDA reported there were about 274,000 households in 2015 in which children went hungry at some point during the year. Palmer said she isn’t surprised by the decline because the economy has been improving, but she thinks there are other reasons as well.

“Schools have been more aware of the issue, so they’ve been helping out a lot,” Palmer said.

Columbia Public Schools Nutrition Services Director Laina Fullum said she credits the National School Lunch Program and other programs for keeping more people from going hungry.  

“It helps families keep money in their pockets for other bills and not to have to worry about their children not eating at schools, and not having to worry about a bill,” Fullum said.

She said about 6,400 Columbia Public Schools students were on free or reduced lunches.  

September is Hunger Action Month and Palmer said taking action to reduce hunger in Missouri is key. Palmer wants to encourage people to start food drives, raise awareness and volunteer at local food banks.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) says America needs to have a bigger debate on the country's current foreign policy. ... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 3:29:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A private Catholic school for girls in Kansas City says it has disciplined a group of... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 3:23:16 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Some mid-Missouri residents who know what it's like to live through a horrific natural disaster have some advice... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:37:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri congressman has heightened security to his office after a shooting at a congressional baseball practice... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
MOBERLY- Moberly Fire Department firefighters dropped down 8 feet underground Thursday to rescue two mock victims. “It’s a little... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 12:45:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations following the acquittal of a former St. Louis police officer (all times... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 11:49:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - President Trump publicized his support this week for the replacement of the Affordable Care Act with the Graham-Cassidy... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:54:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) — Jurors have convicted a Kansas City, Kansas, man of first-degree murder for being an accomplice in... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:45:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations after the acquittal of a former St. Louis police officer (all times... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:24:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS — There have been more fatal police shootings in St. Louis in 2017 than for a decade —... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 9:35:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Home Instead Senior Care in Columbia is set to host a day of education: Alzheimer's Learning Day. ... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:53:00 AM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Veterans living in the Patriot Place apartments will now have room to take their four-legged friends and their... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:22:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri has received a grant from the American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation to... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man has been charged in the killing of an off-duty police officer at a restaurant... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is set to end on Sept. 30. The program... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:33:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Hasbro and Missouri UnitedHealthcare developed a wristband that can help reduce child obesity while getting kids up... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police could be wearing body cameras within 60 to 90 days. After a... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:02:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
OSAGE BEACH - A firefighter was hospitalized with heat exhaustion after responding to a condo building fire Wednesday at 9:54... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, September 20 2017 Sep 20, 2017 Wednesday, September 20, 2017 5:53:00 PM CDT September 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 91°
5pm 92°
6pm 90°
7pm 87°
8pm 84°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30p
The Goldbergs
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld